Saturday, 7 March 2015

Post-transplant 6 Min Walk Test

I finally did my first post-transplant walk test on Friday. I very grumpily managed to walk the hallway for the 6 minutes.

I think I was grumpy mostly because it was a early morning for the gastric emptying study. It's part of the 3-month testing and looks at how fast the stomach digests food. Apparently (I learned yesterday), some people have problems post-transplant with digestion as the nerves may have been impaired during surgery. This checks to make sure everything is working properly before they send people home.

Fasting for 12-hours is required and they provide a breakfast of egg whites and toast laced with radioactive material (barium I assume), and a tiny cup of water. I really struggled to eat it all in the 10 minutes they want. I am not a huge egg person (unless served with bacon and smothered in Hollandaise sauce) at the best of times so add a weird crunch, early morning, and no flavour and I found it very hard to get down. I think the constant reminder that if I didn't eat it or vomited, I would have to do it all again next week was a good motivator.

After consuming the gross food, a one minute stomach x-ray is taken and then again on the hour until I had less than 10% of the food left in my stomach (it took three hours). It was all quite boring and I have no idea what the results were. I may find out on Monday in clinic, I assume if they weren't panicking or keeping me there for hours than everything went as it should.

Afterwards, I had my wound dressing changed at the outpatient clinic and then Isaiah suggested I check with physio about doing my walk test before lunch to 'get it over with.' He was right as they had the time but it didn't make me feel any less as though somehow the only reason I was doing the walk test was because of him. I may have been acting slightly irrational from grumpiness.

For the actual test, I made it 437m which is less than my last pre-transplant walk of 548m. It's super frustrating. Even though I know rationally that my body is not at physically strong as pre, I still don't like seeing the evidence in front of me. The positive part is that my oxygen levels stayed steady and my heart rate didn't go shooting up. The not so positive part is that at about the three minute mark, my legs were on fire and I stopped really feeling them at five minutes. Clearly I am unable to pace myself. I had my actual scheduled physio after lunch which punished my legs even more. I'm amazed they weren't a giant cramp today. Although to be fair, I have done very little today so maybe that balanced it out.

I would like to say I was less grumpy after the 6-Min test and physio but it took until I was able to nap for a few hours after we got home before I felt better. Helpful hint: I do not recommend scheduling a gastric emptying test, wound dressing change, 6-minute walk test, physio, and CT scan all in the same day.


Sue said...

that sounds like good advice to me... I will remember that one! hugs kiddo... you're doing great! and sometimes it is ok to grump at the one we love! :-)

Dave VanSlyke said...

It was good to see you via tablet at the service for your grandmother.

Sometimes we try too hard to accommodate the priorities of others because we don't want to appear selfish. Sometimes we just have to stick to our guns and do what is right for us. Don't feel guilty if you make a choice not to do something because it's convenient for the folks at the hospital. It's okay to do stuff for Alley, too.